Saturday, July 11, 2015

Camping Newbie

I have never slept outside in a tent in my entire life.... until now at age 30something. Brian as an Eagle Scout has many times. And has been trying for a long time to convince me of the benefits of camping versus staying in a hotel/cabin/anything enclosed and indoors. I held off for several years, mostly out of fear of the unknown. However, in Alaska, Brian and Corrie helped me with the camping process... not for just 1 night, but for 5 nights!

Tips for those who are new to camping and hesitant about the process... here are my thoughts/recommendations.

1. Go with people who know what they are doing and are happy to help you out! If it's just your spouse or tons of friends, a patient person who is willing to explain everything is a huge help... especially with putting up a tent.... tricky things those can be. The comradery is also a nice bonus.

2. Don't complicate it... just do the basics. So for food.... Corrie had these amazing things. Just add boiling water and TA-DA! gourmet meal! Just need something to heat the water... which she used this. No pots, no pans, not really any dishes necessary, perfect!

3. Be prepared to layer-up. There was one night I slept in my coat as well as several clothes because I was cold. Bring some extra clothes into the tent. Last thing you want to be is cold. If you get warm easily... a basic synthetic sleeping bag is for you. If you get cold easily (ME!), might consider getting a down sleeping bag. When shopping sometimes you'll see that some sleeping bags are labelled "men" or "women". Women's sleeping bags tend to be made warmer.

4. Also.... you can usually rent most of your camping supplies. Don't go out and spend a ton of money buying something you may only use once. REI had sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and tents available for rent.

5. Don't forget to ask people for help, especially if you have kids. The comradery amongst campers is amazing and many people have experienced either being a "first time" camper or had friends who were "first time" campers and don't mind helping a person out. Just be opened minded... remember you are in the wild and perhaps even outside of your comfort zone... but remember... using the bathroom in the woods will not kill you.

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